The Civilization Of Civility

1004 Words5 Pages
Civility has taken on many meanings over history. In ancient Rome, it was considered civilized to put lions and Christians in a ring and have them fight to the death. Now, it has morphed into an idea about having an infrastructure, and set laws that are not always followed. The study of Lord of the Flies, Frankenstein, and My Last Duchess prove this to be false. In Lord of the Flies, by William Golding, a group of British boys are involved in a plane crash and end up stranded on an island and must establish a form of society in hope of being rescued. In Frankenstein, authored by Mary Shelley, Victor Frankenstein creates a monster responsible for a streak of killings. In the poem My Last Duchess, a Duke is walking through his house, trying to impress an Emissary, when he comes upon a portrait of his previous wife, who we found out was murdered by the Duke himself. Instead, the true definition of being civilized is derived from choices made within people’s minds, with no bearing by the pressures of society. In Lord of the Flies, there are impressions of civilization that they had left, left on the boys. Because of the notion that to be civilized is to have self-control, the boys still had self-control at the beginning of their adventure. They were still displaying signs of the impressions that society had left on them. Before the hunters split off and became a rogue tribe, they were exhibiting signs of being ruthless. However, it is the impressions left on the boys by society that kept them civil for a period of time. While Roger is exhibiting signs of turning into a savage, he begins throwing stones towards Henry. However, “there was a space round Henry, perhaps six yards in diameter, into which [Roger] dare not throw. Here, invisi... ... middle of paper ... ...e utmost sin is committed because of thought, it defines the perpetrator as uncivilized, and they have no civility whatsoever. The act of murder stemming from thought is the antithesis of civility. The legitimate definition of being civilized is derived from decisions made within people’s minds, with no bearing by the pressures of the population. In order to be civilized, one must make the choice to do the thing that they feel is right, and what they morally are obligated to do, not what the general population is doing. Also, one other aspect of civilization is not committing acts of sin which violate every moral code known to mankind. Finally, in order to be civilized, one must be able to feel any form of guilt or remorse for his actions. To be civilized has taken over many meanings in the past, but it all comes down to conscious choices made by an individual.
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